I hear you, allergy free cooking is much more expensive than regular cooking!! I used to cringe when my cooking failed and I wasted those expensive ingredients. Thankfully now I don't waste that much because my cooking is heaps better and I can usually think of a way to turn it into something better if it really is a fail. If you're new to allergy free cooking, read my blog post from a while back Learning to Cook With New Ingredients.
I'm not into many fancy superfoods although there are some things that I feel really enhance what I cook and I think they're worth paying a bit extra for. Today I thought I'd run through the ingredients I like to stock in my allergy free pantry. There are quite a few, a lot more than I used to have but I really like to play around with different ingredients to see what I can create. I think that mixing up different flours helps you achieve better results and it also gets different nutrients in your diet. The main foods we cook without for my son at present are wheat, rice, dairy, soy, eggs that are just cooked (baked okay in small quantities), some tree nuts, peanuts and all seafood. We're also avoiding sesame at the moment.
So what do I have in the pantry for everyday cooking and baking?
I buy rye, barley, spelt and arrowroot in bulk because I use quite a bit. I use the rye and barley to make a safe bread for Alex and spelt to make bread and pizza bases for my girls who aren't wheat free. There are lots of other gluten free flours I have missed - these are just the main ones I use. I tend not to use anything with a very strong taste like quinoa flour, besan or amaranth because the baking gets rejected by my kids!
Oat flour - I just grind up wheat free oats and store ready to go
Coconut flour - I'm not a big fan and just use this occasionally
Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour - I use this blend sometimes because it's rice free
Oils & Vinegar
I cook in coconut oil and macadamia oil most of the time. If Alex isn't having what the rest of us are I sometimes use homemade ghee.
I try my best to stick to non refined sweeteners like rapadura, honey and dates but I will on occasion use icing sugar for a special occasion or even regular raw sugar if I'm making something special and have guests coming over. We don't use rice malt syrup in our home due to my son's rice allergy.
Nuts & Seeds
I store activated nuts in the fridge in recycled glass jars. I activate them by soaking in water with a bit of quality salt and then dehydrating. I usually get the kids to take the skins off the almonds too so they're good to grind up and use as a flour. I find if I store the blanched almonds in the freezer they grind better and I also grind them up with other dry ingredients like flour and rapadura and that stops them turning into nut butter!
Chia seeds - I love these!
Other Ingredients I Love
Organic desiccated coconut - I store this in the freezer if I buy in bulk
Organic cacao powder
Dairy free choc chips - I use Enjoy Life
Organic dried apricots
Cans of quality coconut milk and cream - I like Honest to Goodness the best
Jars of organic tomato pasatta
Jars of organic tomato paste
Gluten free pasta - penne, spaghetti and lasagna sheets
Regular organic pasta - penne and spaghetti (for my hubby and the girls)
Brown rice and basmati rice (not for my son though)
Nutritional yeast flakes
Gluten free baking powder
Bi-carb soda - I use this for cleaning too
Quality salt (for making veggie stock concentrate)
A wide variety of herbs and spices
Nutra Organics Thriving Protein Exotic Vanilla - to make smoothies for my girls and I
Nutra Organics Superfood For Kidz! Berry Choc Chunk
Nutra Organics Superfood For Kidz! Vital Veggie Power - a good investment if you have fussy kids like me!!
I'd love to hear what fantastic ingredients you are using in your kitchen. I'll get to my fridge another week! Lisa x